Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Review of 'Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever'

Start Talking: A Girl's Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex, or Whatever

Book Blurb: A Q&A guide for mother-daughter conversations about female health and sexuality, this book targets both daughters and mothers. Start Talking contains more than 113 questions girls ask including questions about periods, sex, relationships, guys, eating, exercise, body development, along with similar questions verbalized by mothers. Each chapter contains basic information accompanied by real-life vignettes, questions and answers for moms, questions and answers for daughters, "Table Talk" suggestions for moms on how to engage each other around these topics. This book differs from books targeting just girls understanding their own bodies, and from books targeting just mothers on what they should know: it is deliberately meant to spark conversations.

My thoughts: 

This is the kind of book that I wish I had when I was a teenager and needed to talk to my mother about various issues. She was easy to talk to, but didn't always have a lot of the answers I was seeking. Other conversations were simply too embarrassing to try to have with her until I was older.

The book is divided into "Mom Questions" and "Daughter Questions," but both can benefit from reading all of the sections. There are also mock "Table Talk" sections that provide a sample conversation between a mother and her daughter about certain topics. No one should feel like they have to use a script for those conversations. Those sections make for good conversation starters.

Start Talking isn't just about sex. It also delves into friendships, relationships, self-image and self-worth. It's purpose is to open the doors of communication between parent and teenager, which can often be difficult. I think it is a good addition to the parenting library, starting in the tween years as body and emotional changes begin to occur.

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